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Workstation spec for Compositing & Rendering

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December 9, 2011 1:07:36 AM

Hi,

I plan to build a computer for compositing and rendering purpose. Here is my spec for this computer.

Intel Core i7 970 (12MB Cache,3.20Ghz)        
Asus P6T7 WS mobo
Corsair Vengeance 8GB DDR3 1600MHz Kit (3 units)
WD Caviar black 2TB SATA HDD
Corsair 160GB SSD
LeadTek Nvidia Quadro CX
Corsair AX850 PSU
Corsair Graphite 600T Casing
Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium HD
Samsung S24A350H 24" LED Monitor (2 units)

I would like you guys to give me some opinion on this since this is the spec that my graphic designer told me to get for his computer.

Thanks,
December 9, 2011 4:12:43 AM

f4natic said:
Hi,

I plan to build a computer for compositing and rendering purpose. Here is my spec for this computer.

Intel Core i7 970 (12MB Cache,3.20Ghz)        
Asus P6T7 WS mobo
Corsair Vengeance 8GB DDR3 1600MHz Kit (3 units)
WD Caviar black 2TB SATA HDD
Corsair 160GB SSD
LeadTek Nvidia Quadro CX
Corsair AX850 PSU
Corsair Graphite 600T Casing
Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium HD
Samsung S24A350H 24" LED Monitor (2 units)

I would like you guys to give me some opinion on this since this is the spec that my graphic designer told me to get for his computer.

Thanks,



Any1? or the spec is ok already?
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December 13, 2011 6:53:08 AM

I went to 1 computer shop and the salesman suggest to me this spec against what i posted earlier

CORE I7 3960X
CORSAIR DOMINATOR GT 2133C9 (4X4GB)
ASUS SABERTOOTH X79
CREATIVE X-FI TITANIUM HD
ASUS DVD/RW SATA 24X
HITACHI HDD 2TB 7200RPM SATA
CORSAIR F240 FORCE 3 SSD
LEADTEK QUADRO CX VGA CARD
CORSAIR AX850W PSU
CORSAIR 600T WHITE CASING
CORSAIR H100 HYDRO COOLING

Any opinion? Is this the best there is?

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December 13, 2011 7:13:56 AM

The newer i7 3960 is the better choice

You do not need the sabertooth mb which is expensive because it has features that a gamer would use .

You do not need the sound card . The motherboard has perfectly adequate quality sound built in that will work for anyone except music freaks

you dont need the water cooling unless you plan to overclock to a very high level . A competent air cooler will work fine .

Search for and find reviews of the case
http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/cases/2010/09/23/corsa...
Costs a lot , but not that good

You need a 600 - 650 watt power supply . 850 is wasteful and inefficient in a computer like this
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December 13, 2011 7:29:06 AM

Outlander_04 said:
The newer i7 3960 is the better choice

You do not need the sabertooth mb which is expensive because it has features that a gamer would use .

You do not need the sound card . The motherboard has perfectly adequate quality sound built in that will work for anyone except music freaks

you dont need the water cooling unless you plan to overclock to a very high level . A competent air cooler will work fine .

Search for and find reviews of the case
http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/cases/2010/09/23/corsa...
Costs a lot , but not that good

You need a 600 - 650 watt power supply . 850 is wasteful and inefficient in a computer like this


Alright, I might change the casing to something better. Since the computer is actually for compositing and rendering 3d/2d animation I thought the sound card is a better addition.

For the motherboard, I was told by the salesman that the board was more stable compare to other current board for that cpu socket. Honestly im not that sure about it and Im still looking for alternative.

Will air cooler be efficient? since the computer will be up rendering some project maybe more than 2 days.
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December 13, 2011 9:27:18 AM

What software are you using? When you say "rendering" what do you mean specifically? 3D rendering or just rendering composites?
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December 13, 2011 12:25:16 PM

Draven35 said:
What software are you using? When you say "rendering" what do you mean specifically? 3D rendering or just rendering composites?


Basically for 3D/2D animation rendering from what my animator told me. For software I think using adobe creative suite
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December 13, 2011 4:09:53 PM

the sabertooth mb MIGHT be more stable if you are massively overclocking the machine . I doubt thats an issue here.
The sales guy was trying to upsell you .

The sound card will play no part in rendering animation

A good air cooler will be fine , as will a case like the Antec P183 which will also be quiet while it works
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December 13, 2011 5:00:36 PM

Okay, and I see you're upgraded it to 16 GB RAM. That will help when rendering from After Effects, make sure that AE is set to launch multiple render threads.

However, I would NOT get the Quadro CX. a GTX 570 would be much faster (figure at least 3 times faster) at 1/3 the price. You only need the Quadro CS for the Adobe Creative Suite if you're running Adobe CS 4 and using the Elemental Technologies encoding accelerator (which only works under CS4).
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December 13, 2011 5:07:06 PM

If you are rendering then do not use a gaming graphics card . Use a quadro
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December 13, 2011 9:08:31 PM

Heh... um... you really buy into that?

Adobe apps won't use any of the additional features that you get from a Quadro (antialiased lines and slightly better at handling high polygon count situations) and the output of Premiere's GPU acceleration had better look the same between dissimilar cards. After Effects renders its final output on the CPU so the 'quality' of the GPU is pretty irrelevant for AE rendering. Adobe states that the 570 and 580 are both fully supported in Premiere Pro and After Effects CS 5.5 with no features that would be unsupported by not using a 'Pro' card.

You'd be surprised to learn how many visual effects shops (especially shops working on TV instead of feature films) are just using 'gaming graphics cards' instead of Quadros...

If you're going to be doing a lot of after effects rendering, then the $900 price difference between the graphics cards would be best spent on a render node instead. Another system do do rendering is going to get more done.

If you must get a quadro, for some percieved reason, then please look at something more current. The Quadro CX is ancient. I know it was pushed by Adobe and NVidia for Creative suite use.... when CS4 was the current version. It has 192 CUDA cores, and was fabbed at 55 nm- which puts it in the same class as the Geforce GTX 260, a card that came out three years ago. A Quadro 4000 is more current, faster and cheaper.
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December 14, 2011 12:54:38 AM

Draven35 said:
Heh... um... you really buy into that?

Adobe apps won't use any of the additional features that you get from a Quadro (antialiased lines and slightly better at handling high polygon count situations) and the output of Premiere's GPU acceleration had better look the same between dissimilar cards. After Effects renders its final output on the CPU so the 'quality' of the GPU is pretty irrelevant for AE rendering. Adobe states that the 570 and 580 are both fully supported in Premiere Pro and After Effects CS 5.5 with no features that would be unsupported by not using a 'Pro' card.

You'd be surprised to learn how many visual effects shops (especially shops working on TV instead of feature films) are just using 'gaming graphics cards' instead of Quadros...

If you're going to be doing a lot of after effects rendering, then the $900 price difference between the graphics cards would be best spent on a render node instead. Another system do do rendering is going to get more done.

If you must get a quadro, for some percieved reason, then please look at something more current. The Quadro CX is ancient. I know it was pushed by Adobe and NVidia for Creative suite use.... when CS4 was the current version. It has 192 CUDA cores, and was fabbed at 55 nm- which puts it in the same class as the Geforce GTX 260, a card that came out three years ago. A Quadro 4000 is more current, faster and cheaper.



Thank you for your clarification, I'll do some research first before deciding between quadro and gaming card.

I'll update you guys later on the software that my animator gonna use so that I can get the correct spec for him instead going for all high end hardware.
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December 14, 2011 1:00:25 AM

You should buy the latest and most powerful quadro you can aford .

Gaming cards are not optimised for the kind of math needed to render
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December 14, 2011 1:27:53 AM

Outlander_04 said:
You should buy the latest and most powerful quadro you can aford .

Gaming cards are not optimised for the kind of math needed to render



From my current understanding now, I need a card that can handle rendering for long hour.

Currently in dilemma either GTX 580 3GB or Quadro 4000. With GTX 580 i need extra cooling hardware. Quadro 4000 has sufficient cooling mechanism but the price is double of the GTX580.

Im not sure if the GTX 580 can survive long with extra cooling. With my budget, quadro 4000 is the highest i can go but im still in 50/50 mode.

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December 14, 2011 4:26:08 AM

Outlander_04 said:
You should buy the latest and most powerful quadro you can aford .

Gaming cards are not optimised for the kind of math needed to render


Not true. At all. Especially for an outdated Quadro CX.

Unless you're seeing a really impressive price on a Quadro CX, I definitely wouldn't get it.
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December 14, 2011 4:48:36 AM

Draven35 said:
Not true. At all. Especially for an outdated Quadro CX.

Unless you're seeing a really impressive price on a Quadro CX, I definitely wouldn't get it.


So Im changing the spec to be like this

CORE I7 3960X
CORSAIR DOMINATOR GT 2133C9 (4X4GB)
ASUS P9X79
CREATIVE X-FI TITANIUM HD
ASUS DVD/RW SATA 24X
HITACHI HDD 2TB 7200RPM SATA
CORSAIR F240 FORCE 3 SSD
LEADTEK QUADRO 4000 2GB VGA CARD
CORSAIR AX850W PSU
SilverStone Raven 2


I dont know what type of air cooling fit for this cpu. Any suggestion? Assuming this machine will be up for rendering at minimum 2 days straight.
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February 5, 2012 9:20:24 PM

If you wanna cool the CPU with water to make it more stable for long periods of under load use I would go with something simple. It can't really hurt to watercool any system. It's just a matter of how much money you wanna waste doing it. For what you are doing I think a simple closed loop system will be perfectly efficient and cost effective at the same time. You could consider the Corsair H60 or H80 series or the Antec 620 or 920 setups. All of them will work for what you are doing. They will keep your temps lower during load and keep them more stable over longer periods of load time. Just my opinion on the matter. :) 
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February 5, 2012 10:08:15 PM

f4natic said:
From my current understanding now, I need a card that can handle rendering for long hour.

Currently in dilemma either GTX 580 3GB or Quadro 4000. With GTX 580 i need extra cooling hardware. Quadro 4000 has sufficient cooling mechanism but the price is double of the GTX580.

Im not sure if the GTX 580 can survive long with extra cooling. With my budget, quadro 4000 is the highest i can go but im still in 50/50 mode.


I would recommend the closed loop cooling solutions from Corsair. I have built macines ranging from itx gaming boxes with a h60, midrange pcs using a h80 and top performance gaming boxes with the H100. CPU temperature is never a problem at idle or when overclocked after you install one of these units.

The video card arguement is a hard one. When I work we have a dozen new macpro towers both the 8 core and 12 core versions. We using them for 2d/3g design with CS Master Collection (current version) and Final Cut. We bought them all with Apples recommended card. This happens to be an ATI 5870.

IF you search Apples website you will find that they sell a Quadro 4000 for about $1200. It's just not on their online store configuration system.

The idea that you will need extra cooling for a gtx580......

You really just need a case with enough cooling to deal with the thermal load that these sort of cards generate. Most full size tower cases designed for gaming with have good airflow over the graphics card area of the motherboard. Most people only havve issues when using two or more graphics cards.

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November 25, 2012 8:24:21 PM

Go with the GTX680 over the Quadro 4000. The Quadro 4000 is old technology, based on the GTX 400 series of video cards. The Quadro 4000 is over priced and under powered.


I don’t talk about the Quadro cards because very few people use them. I have not tested them myself, however, there is a post production house in Orlando where I know the owners. Last year, they switched from a Quadro 4000 card to the GTX580 and said that the GTX580 was much faster. For the timeline, they saw approx. 20% speed increase with the GTX580 over the Quadro 4000 and when they exported to a MPEG 2 DVD, they said the export times where almost twice as fast with the GTX580.


There is a website called http://www.ppbm5.com where you can see benchmark results using a Premiere CS5 project to test various video cards on different systems. You will see the Quadro lags behind the GTX580.


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